Midsummer Morning Jog Log
Michael Horovitz’s 670-line Rural Rhapsody, with ruralist drawings by Peter Blake
In this 670-line rural rhapsody, Michael Horovitz takes the reader on a wildly exuberant poetic ramble round the Cotswold valley that was his home for 15 blissful years.
The beautifully hand-set text is further illuminated by Peter Blake’s illustrations, which redefine the pastoral ‘magic realism’ for which this artist has become so well known and well loved. The poetry and drawings together rejoice in ‘every thing that lives’ – above, beneath and beyond our intercity preoccupations (puff! puff!)
The ‘ludicrously heavy-booted’ author, once called ‘incorrigibly urban’ by Robert Graves, is seen as ‘one of our more serious threats to the serious world’ by Herbert Lomas, whilst Eric Mottram regarded ‘Horovitz’s need to deflate the pompous, to be immediately accessible, and to remind us of the childlike and naive as sources of freshness’ as ‘one of the most difficult ambitions in poetry. His strong appeal is: learn to recover your birthright.’
Writing about his work in the Literary Review, Herbert Lomas felt that:”There’s something deeply English about Horovitz, as I understand the term ‘English’. It’s not just Blake, it’s Smart and Clare and Samuel Palmer he lives with. I think his euphoria’s a benign condition of hope, part of a seeker’s happiness at an incommunicable message. Horovitz has moved out of ego-thinking and it’s cost him the worldliness he’d have been very good at. To ego-thinkers it looks like irresponsiblity and goofiness, for they feel they’re keeping society together only with stiff muscles and tight reins. We may feel threatened because Horovitz reminds us of our ambivalent, zany and ecstatic deeper mind that’s longing to get out and induce the wholeness that looks like disintegration to the serious world of war and economic negotiation.”
These sentiments apply even more closely to the spirit and detail of Midsummer Morning Jog Log.
The poem is dedicated to the memory of Frances Horovitz, who first opened her husband’s senses to nature at a deeper level.
Paperback ISBN 0-9504606-8-0
at &5.99 each including UK p/p.
Hardback ISBN 0-9504606-7-2
at &12 each including UK p/p.